Lullaby by Amanda Hocking

Lullaby

“Gemma had to disappear with Penn, Lexi and Thea after a night of incredible violence on the island. She can still barely come to terms with her new affinity with the ocean – and the siren powers that go with it. Now she’s been transformed, Gemma has no choice but to leave all she loves behind. She swears she won’t lose her humanity, but the call of the sea is maddening and compulsive.

Harper won’t give up on her missing sister. The search draws her closer than she’d like to bohemian Daniel, but she could really use his help. They’d almost given up, until a small news item tells of a horrific murder in a nearby beach town, and Harper thinks she’s found the deadly group. But can Gemma’s curse be reversed – and what if she doesn’t want to come home?”

MY REVIEW

I bought this book ages ago after reading Wake (review here), I had been looking forward to getting stuck into the second instalment of The Watersong Series ever since but seeing as I had many MANY other reading commitments I just hadn’t managed to get round to it.

It began with the aftermath of what had happened at the end of the previous book, it briefly recapped the main events so that I was able to pick up the storyline easily.  As with the first book I have to say that it didn’t fully hold my attention for the first half of the book, I found it very easy to put it down at that point because it felt rather slow.  Towards the end it became much more exciting and held my interest completely so once again the book redeemed itself by the end.

One of my favourite moments was a road trip that involved Harper, Daniel and Alex – it was during this trip that I really felt like I got to know these characters on a deeper level.  Another part that was particularly enjoyable for me was the bond between Harper and Gemma, they were so connected as sisters and I have a feeling that there may be more to this than meets the eye.

The storyline had a dark edge to it with a lingering sense of danger but this was lightened by a hint of romance, firstly between Gemma and Alex and more exciting, for me, between Harper and Daniel. Theirs was a slow building relationship that continuously teased me with ‘will they, won’t they’ moments.

This was a dark read with some lovely characters, I look forward to finding out what happens next!

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

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BUY THE BOOK

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Antigoddess – Kendare Blake

Antigoddess

“He was Apollo, the sun, and he’d burn down anything that tried to hurt her… Cassandra and Aidan are just your average high-school couple. Or so Cassandra believes. Blissfully unaware that she was once a powerful prophetess, Cassandra doesn’t even know that god exist…Until now.

Because the gods are dying – and Cassandra could hold the answer to their survival. But Aidan has a secret of his own. He is really Apollo, god of the sun, and he will do anything to protect the girl he loves from the danger that’s coming for her. Even if it means war against his immortal family…”

Firstly I’d like to thank Hachette for sending me this book to read and give an honest review.  It sounded like my kind of read because I’ve always enjoyed anything to do with Greek Mythology so I was really looking forward to getting started.  Unfortunately I struggled to become truly hooked during the first half of the book but the second half was fantastic and captured my attention completely!

When I first met Cassandra and Aidan it was clear there was something special about them and I wanted to know more, although I did have a pretty good idea as to who they were. To begin with their story ran alongside the tale of the Gods – I was intrigued by all the ailments of the Gods and Goddesses, feathers and stretching were just two of the horrible ways they were being tortured! Eventually the two stories intertwined and that is when it got really interesting for me.

I loved the idea of bringing the powerful Gods and Goddesses into the present day, I enjoyed finding out about their modern characters and imagining them living in today’s world (lets just say that I certainly wouldn’t want to meet some of them in a dark alley).  They brought a feeling of power to the storyline but also created a feeling of desperation, it was like I could feel them through the pages.

There were a few humorous moments that lightened the intense atmosphere, the excitement and tension grew massively towards the final pages leaving me wondering just how it was all going to end.  Then came a completely unexpected event that I just hadn’t seen coming, I hoped something would happen that would tell me it wasn’t true but the epilogue confirmed it and left me shocked!  I’m now hoping the next book in the trilogy (Aristeia due to be released in 2014) will bring more on this event.

This was an enjoyable read that would make a great movie, if you enjoy Mythology this is definitely one for you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kendare Blake is an import from South Korea who was raised in the United States. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Ithaca College and a Master’s degree in Writing from Middlesex University in London. She brakes for animals, the largest of which was a deer, which sadly didn’t make it, and the smallest of which was a mouse, which did, but it took forever. Amongst her likes are Greek Mythology, rare red meat and veganism. She also enjoys girls who can think with the boys like Ayn Rand, and boys who scare the morality into people, like Bret Easton Ellis.

To find out more:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Antigoddess is published by Orchard Books and can be purchased from The Book DepositoryAmazon or from most good book retailers.

Cobweb Bride – Vera Nazarian – Blog Tour and Giveaways

Today I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Cobweb Bride by Vera Nazarian.  Thank you to Fiction Addiction Book Tours for sending me the eBook.

Cobweb bride

Release Date: July 15, 2013

Publisher: Norilana Books

Imprint: Leda

Trade Hardcover
(First Edition)

ISBN-13: 978-1-60762-112-6
ISBN-10: 1-60762-112-6

$24.95 US / 20.00 UK

Trade Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-1-60762-113-3
ISBN-10: 1-60762-113-4

$14.95 US / 12.00 UK

Ebook (multi-format)

on Amazon:
ASIN: B00DK02MHG
or elsewere:
ISBN-13: 978-1-60762-114-0
ISBN-10: 1-60762-114-2

$5.99

“Many are called… She alone can save the world and become Death’s bride.

COBWEB BRIDE (Cobweb Bride Trilogy, Book One) is a history-flavored fantasy novel with romantic elements of the Persephone myth, about Death’s ultimatum to the world.

What if you killed someone and then fell in love with them?

In an alternate Renaissance world, somewhere in an imaginary “pocket” of Europe called the Kingdom of Lethe, Death comes, in the form of a grim Spaniard, to claim his Bride. Until she is found, in a single time-stopping moment all dying stops. There is no relief for the mortally wounded and the terminally ill….

Covered in white cobwebs of a thousand snow spiders she lies in the darkness… Her skin is cold as snow… Her eyes frozen… Her gaze, fiercely alive…

While kings and emperors send expeditions to search for a suitable Bride for Death, armies of the undead wage an endless war… A black knight roams the forest at the command of his undead father… Spies and political treacheries abound at the imperial Silver Court…. Murdered lovers find themselves locked in the realm of the living…

Look closer — through the cobweb filaments of her hair and along each strand shine stars…

And one small village girl, Percy—an unwanted, ungainly middle daughter—is faced with the responsibility of granting her dying grandmother the desperate release she needs.

As a result, Percy joins the crowds of other young women of the land in a desperate quest to Death’s own mysterious holding in the deepest forests of the North…

And everyone is trying to stop her.”

MY REVIEW

I wasn’t too sure what to expect from this intriguing book, I like to step out of my reading comfort zone now and again because I feel that it keeps me on my toes – this book certainly did just that!

Death was searching for his cobweb bride and refused to allow anyone to die until he had found her. This led to some fascinating and disturbing scenes which included a headless soldier who was still alive and wandering around the battlefield.  The idea of not being able to die even after being fatally wounded was something that captivated me, I found it strangely easy to visualise and it had my imagination running wild!

Chaos followed Death’s revelation and I have to admit that I felt slightly overwhelmed by the amount of characters that were introduced at the beginning.  However, I soon realised the purpose of all the characters when their lives began to entwine and that was when I really became hooked.  Persephone (Percy) was my favourite character, her interesting abilities made her stand out from the crowd and I wanted to know more.

The journey of the cobweb brides was something that I enjoyed, I was keen to find out what awaited them at their destination and when they did get there the result was not what I had been expecting at all.  Who was the cobweb bride?  This question had me puzzled and every time I thought I had figured it out I was proved wrong!  A touch of romance lightened the eerie atmosphere of the book and there was one blossoming romance that I found most surprising, it will be interesting to see where that particular connection leads.

This was a fascinating read that was well written and left lots of questions for the next book.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VeraNazarian-Photo2-Crop2-001

Vera Nazarian is a two-time Nebula Award® Finalist and a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. She immigrated to the USA from the former USSR as a kid, sold her first story at 17, and has been published in numerous anthologies and magazines, honorably mentioned in Year’s Best volumes, and translated into eight languages.

Vera made her novelist debut with the critically acclaimed Dreams of the Compass Rose, followed by Lords of Rainbow. Her novella The Clock King and the Queen of the Hourglass with an introduction by Charles de Lint made the 2005 Locus Recommended Reading List. Her debut collection Salt of the Airwith an introduction by Gene Wolfe contains the 2007 Nebula Award-nominated “The Story of Love.”

Other work includes the 2008 Nebula Finalist novella The Duke in His Castle, science fiction collection After the Sundial (2010), The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration (2010), and four Jane Austen parodies, Mansfield Park and Mummies (2009), Northanger Abbey and Angels and Dragons(2010), Pride and Platypus: Mr. Darcy’s Dreadful Secret (2012), andPagan Persuasion: All Olympus Descends on Regency (forthcoming), all part of her Supernatural Jane Austen Series.

After many years in Los Angeles, Vera now lives in a small town in Vermont. She uses her Armenian sense of humor and her Russian sense of suffering to bake conflicted pirozhki and make art. In addition to being a writer, philosopher, and award-winning artist, she is also the publisher of Norilana Books.

To find out more:

Official website | Norilana Books | Cobweb Bride Mailing List | Twitter | Facebook (author page) | Facebook (personal) | Pinterest | Blogs: Inspired.UsUrban Girl Takes Vermont, Norilana | Goodreads | LibraryThing | Shelfari | Red Room | SFF Net Newsgroup | Austen Authors | Vera Nazarian’s Amazon Author Central page | The Official Book Website | Kickstarter page

GIVEAWAYS

There are two giveaways on offer today:

Giveaway 1 – One Hard Back copy and Three paperback copies of Cobweb Bride are up for grabs for the whole tour, just follow the Rafflecopter link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway 2 – For your chance to win one of five e-copies of Cobweb Bride follow the Rafflecopter link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

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Goddess – Josephine Angelini

Goddess

“She must rise or they will fall…

Helen’s powers are increasing – and so is the distance between her and her mortal friends.  To make matters worse, the Oracle reveals that a dangerous traitor is lurking among them, and all fingers point to Orion.  Still unsure whether she loves him or Lucas, Helen is forced to make a terrifying decision or risk all-out war.”

This is the third and final book in this fantastic trilogy and I feel really sad that it has come to an end (my reviews of books one and two can be found here).  Obviously I couldn’t wait to read it because I wanted to know how it would all end and now it’s over I can safely say that it was just brilliant and left me with a huge smile on my face 🙂

At the beginning  there was a recap of the main points of the story so far, this drew me back in gently without too much drama.  Everyone was recovering from the traumas of the previous battle and Helen began to experience some interesting dreams/memories which continued throughout the book.  These dreams/memories were the answer to a lot of my questions from the first two books and I felt pleased to finally get a clear picture of the past.  Helen discovered a few new talents and these really seemed to unnerve her until she realised just how much power she actually had and what she could do with it. Unfortunately other people also noticed her extraordinary strength and I knew that it would cause many more problems for her!

The romantic side of the story was just as good as the previous books, it was complicated and enjoyable and although I was able to correctly predict the end result of the love triangle, I was still hooked on the journey to get to that point.  The romance from the supporting characters was also enjoyable and added an extra touch of gentleness to some of the more intense scenes.

There were a few parts of the story told from Lucas’ point of view and I loved this because he was the kind of male character who always left me wondering what was going through his mind.  A tense and exciting meeting was an important turning point and from then on the action didn’t stop – everything began to fall into place as the revelations and shocks continued to flow.  I was greedily reading the pages in my quest to reach the heart-pounding final showdown and discover what fate had in store for these characters who had taken a place in my heart over the past couple of years.

This was the perfect end to a gripping trilogy, it had everything I could possibly want in a concluding book.

Goddess can be purchased from The Book DepositoryAmazon or from most good book retailers.

To find out more about Josephine Angelini click on the following links:

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Wake – Amanda Hocking

Wake

“Strangers in town for the summer, Penn, Thea and Lexi have caught everyone’s attention, including the eye of practical Harper.  But it’s her sister, Gemma, they’ve chosen.  Sixteen-year-old Gemma seems to have it all – carefree, pretty and falling in love with the boy next door.  But her greatest passion is the water.  She craves solitary late-night swims under the stars, where she can belong to the sea. But lately she’s had company.

Penn, Thea and Lexi spend their nights dancing and partying on the cove, and one night Gemma joins them.  She wakes, groggy, on the beach the next morning and knows something has changed.  Suddenly Gemma is stronger, faster and more beautiful than ever.  And as she discovers her new mythical powers, Gemma is forced to choose between staying with those she loves – or entering a dark world brimming with unimaginable secrets.”

I’m a big fan of Amanda Hocking’s books (you can find my reviews here) and I’ve really been looking forward to finding out where this new series would take me.

The prologue seemed dark and a little bit scary and I wasn’t expecting this at all, in fact the whole book was a lot darker than I thought it would be.  When sisters Harper and Gemma were introduced it was clear that there was some friction between them, they had very different personalities and Harper seemed motherly towards Gemma (the reasons for this were explained further into the story).  I was keen to see how things would evolve for them throughout the book.

There were a couple of relationships in the storyline, firstly between Gemma and Alex (boy next door) and also Harper and Daniel (a guy who lives on a boat), out of the two couples I felt more interested in Harper and Daniel and I’m really looking forward to seeing how that progresses in the next book.

The mysterious three girls – Penn, Thea and Lexi – were what made this book so eerie, although I had figured out what they were I couldn’t wait for the moment to arise when all would be revealed.

I struggled to get into the first half of book, it just took too long to capture my interest and felt a bit flat.  I was disappointed by this because I really do love the other books by this author, I suppose I had expected to feel the same as I did for her previous series (completely hooked from the very first page).  However, the second half was where it got exciting – I found myself speeding through the pages to find out what would happen so in the end my faith was restored.

The night that changed everything for Gemma was strange and when it was mixed with the disappearances of local boys and girls I just knew something dark and deadly was going on.  The mythological story told by Penn was interesting and answered many of the questions that I had swirling around in my mind.

The ending really captured my interest and I’m now quite excited about reading the next book Lullaby which is already on my to read pile.

This was an eerie book that unfortunately took a while to get going, but once it did it was fantastic!

Wake can be purchased from The Book DepositoryAmazon or from most good book retailers.

To find out more about Amanda Hocking visit her blog.

Underworld – Meg Cabot

“Pierce isn’t dead, not yet.

But John Hayden, lord of the Underworld, has taken her to the place where the spirits of the deceased gather.  He says it’s for her safety, to protect her from the vengeful Furies.  But could he have other reasons for keeping her close?

Pierce might be safe in the Underworld, but she soon learns that the people she loves back on earth are not.  Can she convince John to release her in order to save her family – or will the price he asks her to pay be too high?

How can she persuade him to let her go?”

This is the sequel to Abandon which I read and reviewed here.  I loved the stunning cover and couldn’t wait to start reading after the previous book had ended on a teasing cliffhanger.

The story picked up where Abandon had left off with Pierce safely locked away in the Underworld, she was dreaming a strange and upsetting dream which I didn’t really understand at that point, but as I read through the book it all became clear.

John was keeping more secrets from Pierce and I couldn’t figure out why seeing as he said he loved her so much.  I had mixed feelings about him, he was a very intense character (I suppose this makes sense considering he’s the lord of the Underworld) and part of me felt annoyed by his controlling nature. The other part of me loved how protective he was towards Pierce and I really enjoyed some of their romantic moments together.

I liked the addition of Hope and the other characters from the Underworld, this side of the story really fascinated me and I wished that they could have spent more time in Johns home because I wanted to know more about it.

They faced more danger from the Furies which managed to get my heart pounding every time, and whilst on a rescue mission Pierce learned more about John’s history – something which I hadn’t expected!

An awful twist near the end changed everything and resulted in another cliffhanger ending.  I have a feeling that this twist will cause many problems for John and Pierce in the next book Awaken which is due to be released in 2013.

This was a dark and fascinating one day read, I just couldn’t put it down!

Underworld can be purchased from The Book DepositoryAmazon or from most good book retailers.

To find out more about Meg Cabot visit her website here.

Dreamless – Josephine Angelini

“Heartbroken and forbidden from being with Lucas, Helen has been tasked with breaking the curse that keeps them apart by killing the Furies.  She spends her nights wandering the Underworld in search of them and, tormented by her worst nightmares made real, she’s beginning to suffer from extreme exhaustion on top of her heartbreak.

One night, Helen meets another person down in the shadowy Underworld: Orion, descended from Adonis and with the power to control desire.  Still in love with Lucas but drawn to this seductive stranger, Helen must make a choice that could save her life but break her heart…”

I was really looking forward to reading this book, I loved Starcrossed (review here) and couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next.  This eagerness, combined with the amazingly addictive way it has been written, meant that this book joins the rest of the one-day read pile!

Seeing as it was a year ago that I read the last book, I found that I struggled a bit at the beginning to remember who some of the characters were and what roles they played in the story.  It didn’t take long to come back to me though and I was soon completely caught up in this mythological tale once more.

The Underworld parts were very dark and uncomfortable, I felt incredibly sad that Helen had to go through all of that on top of the heartache she was already suffering.  The forbidden love between her and Lucas was fantastic to read, as the reader I knew the truth and I think this made the whole situation much harder.  I really got a sense of Helen’s emotions – it was almost like her loneliness was jumping out of the page at me.

The introduction of Orion made this trilogy even more exciting, he was a character that I instantly liked but I felt there was a lot more to him than meets the eye and I hope to see more of this in the next book.  I’m also hoping that the love triangle is going to get even more exciting in the future, I’m a huge fan of a good love triangle.

Every twist, turn and battle throughout the book made me want more, I devoured the pages greedily and I just couldn’t put the book down. There were so many new complications for the characters to face that sometimes I found it difficult to keep up with it all, but the writing made me feel like I was there with them so I overcame the confusion and just enjoyed the ride!

Another amazing and exciting book, I can’t wait for the next instalment.

Dreamless can be purchased here or from most good book retailers.

To find out more about Josephine Angelini visit her website here.